Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A year to live dangerously!

Well, it's time to say goodbye to 2013.  2012 was a whirlwind with the surgery and hitting my goal weight.  So 2013 became the year to settle into this new life and see what I could do with it.  

So let's see, weight wise I was able to maintain a 225 pound weight loss.  I had some wild and wacky fluctuations during this time - getting as low as 113 (for a minute after a long run) and as high as 130 (YOWZA!  That was the day after Xmas).  But for the most part I've hovered 117-120.  Since I hit goal in July 2012, that means that I've been a "maintainer" for 17 months.  Pretty good!

2013 was a year for running.  I ran my first official half-marathon and then I ran another!  I did some shorter races and did pretty well.  But mostly I ran to keep in shape and just to run.  According to Runkeeper, where I log all my running, I ran 1,502 miles in 2013.  That includes today's 7 mile run.  And, if you add in walking and hiking, I traveled 1,953 miles this year.  

I asked yesterday on my associated Facebook page what accomplishments the readers were proud of for 2013.  There were some fantastic answers - like starting a new business, moving, losing weight!  In comparison, I see my life as pretty plain - pretty boring.  

In some ways, boring is a good thing - I mean, it's much better then some types of "excitement" that can mean emotional upheavals.  But...

So here goes, I an officially stating that 2014 shall be The Year of Living Dangerously!  Don't get me wrong - I'm not throwing eating well and exercising out the window.  But when I stepped on the scale this morning and it read 118.9 - not quite 2 pounds over this date 1 year ago AND within my defined goals, I though about this year.  I especially remembered the grand MELT DOWN of September - when I gained a few pounds over vacation and convinced myself that it was a disaster.  Or when I missed a workout and spent hours telling myself what a rotten fat piece of shit I am.  
So maybe it's time I stop defining myself as someone who was, once upon a time, morbidly obese.  Maybe I need to stop waiting for the inevitable crash.  Or worrying constantly about gaining weight back.

Maybe now is the time to just live a happy life.  And that will include food.  There is a fine line between getting cocky and being confident.  Let's see how long - and how well - I can do this experiment.


Monday, December 30, 2013

A fresh start

Holy crap!  The ads for all the diet programs are in full swing already!  I saw SO MANY ads today for Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and others - it's enough to make your head spin!!

I chose not to go with any formalized program.  But many people use these with success.  I think Weight Watchers meetings are fantastic for some people - especially anyone that doesn't have a ton of support in their personal lives.  That's a wonderful place to go to meet others that "get it".

I am getting ready to put 2013 to bed and head into 2014.  In that respect I spent today crossing things off my infamous "to do" list.  I spent almost the whole day cleaning and organizing.  It feels so good!  It's like shedding the old skin of the past and starting fresh and clean!

For Xmas, we always draw names with my in-laws.  My sister-in-law drew my name this year, and, after seeing my running scrapbook at a party this summer, she got the idea to have my brother-in-law make me a case to hold my running medals.  I haven't hung it yet, but did get it set up and the medals placed in it today!

Pretty cool, huh?


Sunday, December 29, 2013

I wish I could tell you....

The question I get asked all the time - more then any other - is why THEN?  Why was 2010 the start of my weight loss journey.

I wish I could answer that question with any sort of an answer that would be useful to other people.  But I can't.  I often say it was just time.  

What I do know if that it started - SLOWLY -  right after New Year's.  It wasn't like I hadn't tried to lose weight before, I had.  But it was always half assed attempts.  And these attempts didn't last long.

So the best advice I can give you - if you are wondering how to get started - is to START.  You don't have to make a commitment to going from obese to skinny in 6 months.  In fact, I think those goals are destined for failure.  

Start making small changes.  Go for walks, give up soda, eat out less, do what you KNOW will lead to success.  Practice makes perfect, even in weight loss.

Are you tired of being fat?  Are you tired of being TIRED all the time?  I was.  And when you have success - even small successes, you will be amazed at how much better you feel - mentally and physically!

The time is now.  How much longer do you want to delay?  Every single day I wish I had started this journey WAY earlier.  It is easily the hardest thing I have ever done, but also the most rewarding.  2014 is coming - are you ready for this to be your year????

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Crawling back to normal!

This year I had made the conscious decision that I was going to be be a little more "wild" around the Christmas holidays.  I was going to eat more then normal and not be so exercise fanatical.

What I didn't anticipate was a huge ice storm.  An ice storm that would lead me to tremendous stress eating and limiting - even CANCELING - exercise for a couple of days.  

And then OH THE EATING Xmas Eve and Xmas Day.  When I woke up Thursday, I saw a number on the scale I haven't seen since early 2012.   

Did I ever tell you guys that after my skin removal surgery I was so full of fluid they had pumped into me that when I would tap my abdominal area you could see the water rippling under the skin - like a waterbed.  Well, on Thursday I was SO BLOATED that at work - when I went to work out - I actually had a ROLL hanging over my shorts and I could tap my stomach and just see the water rippling in there!  

I became convinced there and then that I would NOT lose the weight I had "gained" and that it was inevitable that I would get fat again.  And I said this to myself with a sort of resignation - I was sad, but also didn't really care.  Which was evidenced by me raiding the goody trays that still sat there at work.

My weight slid down a little yesterday and is down even more today.  I'm above my red line, but only by 2.5 pounds.  So I should consider myself lucky.   Today begins a return to normal.  I can't promise that I will be 100% on track - there are still some cookies here in the house calling my name.  BUT, we will take down the tree, clean the house up, and I have a delicious garlic-herb pork roast in the crock pot cooking for dinner.  In just a few minutes we'll be in our workout room resuming our normal Saturday exercise routine.

There is nothing - NOTHING - that can prevent me from getting back to an acceptable weight EXCEPT myself.  Time to make some goals and start to get back on track.  I might not be perfect, but I'll be better, and that is good enough for all of us!



Thursday, December 26, 2013

What to wear?

On your feet that is!

Some of you out there will be implementing and/or continuing in a fitness routine after New Year's hits.  Some of you probably have a goal to start running - or committing to walk a certain number of steps per day.  Maybe you're doing some exercise DVD's.  If any of these are true, you need what is probably the most important piece of fitness equipment you'll ever buy - SNEAKERS!!

Ok, so let's talk about footwear!  There are an OVERWHELMING amount of choices out there.  The very best thing that you can do is to first off commit to spending a good chunk of money on what you put on your feet.  You NEED good, quality sneakers from a good manufacturer - not something that you pick up for $10 on the clearance rack.

What you should do is go to a quality shoe store like Fleet Feet - not some place you find in the mall, but a place that will measure your feet, analyze your gait, and make recommendations for what YOU need for YOUR specific issues.  Do you over or under pronate?  Do you have high arches or flat feet?   Walking, jumping, running - they all take a toll on your feet but that can be mitigated with the right shoe!

When I decided to start running, I went into it blindly.  I had always had feet and ankle problems and have turned my ankles dozens of times.  I was always happiest when I was barefoot.  So I decided to get a sneaker that was as close to barefoot as I could get.  I ended up with Fila Skeletoes.  I LOVED them.  They felt like I was barefoot, but had a protective rubber layer on the bottom.

However, they aren't made for heavy duty running and soon were wearing out too quickly.  So I switched to Vibram Bikilas.  

That's when I read up and found that running in minimalist sneakers is incredibly controversial.   I'm not going to get into that argument here.  There are hundreds of websites debating the pros and cons of running completely barefoot versus extremely minimalist versus "normal" sneakers versus extremely supportive sneakers.  You can read and decide for yourself.  I will only share with you what my experience has been.

So I ran in my Bikilas for a long, long time.  Then this fall, a couple of things happened.  I started putting in longer miles per run.  I developed Achilles Tendonitis.  I did some reading and found that those of us who naturally land on their forefoot when running are most prone to this injury.  As you can see from my Bikilas, I am a total forefoot runner!!

See how the forefoot area is WAY run down, but the heels look almost brand new?

The next thing that happened was that I decided I wanted to run outside as much as possible - which meant running in colder weather and the Bikilas don't provide much protection from the cold.  And on my longer runs, my feet were starting to really hurt from the repeated impact.  

So I headed to Fleet Feet.  I told them that I had never run in "real" sneakers.  My gait was analyzed and I tried on a variety of sneakers and ran a little in them.  When I put on New Balance WR1400, I just KNEW - they felt so right for my feet.  They are still considered minimalist sneaks, but they are not as minimalist as the Vibrams.

They offer much more cushioning, I can wear socks with them which keep my feet warmer, and while I am still a forefoot striker, they pull my heel down some and - knock on wood - it seems to be clearing up my Achilles Tendonitis.

Now, I still wear my Vibrams for hiking and walking where the impact is not an issue.  I find them incredibly comfortable.  I also wear them for doing workout videos.  Today I did P90X Plyometrics and wore the Bikilas and I felt great.  

It is MY OPINION that most people would benefit from minimalist sneakers.  They conform most naturally to your body.  This became even more evident to me when I went sneaker shopping with Marc.  He has extremely high arches and has a lot of foot issues.  Traditionally he would have been told that he needed kicks with a LOT of support.  But he then tried on the Brooks Pure Connect 2 - a minimalist sneaker - and, like me with the New Balance, fell in love with how they felt on his feet.  I would have never thought that Marc would run in minimalist sneakers, but they have solved almost all of his foot problems that he was having when running!

You can read his in depth review of these sneaks on his blog  http://randombitsbytes.com/review-brooks-pureconnect-2-lightweight-running-shoes/

Your feet - especially if you are overweight or obese - take a lot of beating every day.  The best thing that you can do for them is to house them in the most comfortable way you can.  You will be shocked at what a difference it makes, not only for your feet themselves, but it can also solve other issues, like knee problems.  So, no matter if your goal is to run, walk, hike, or do anything that involves your feet - and what doesn't? - you need to get out and get a quality pair of kicks!! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to all!

Good Christmas morning everyone!

I began Christmas morning cooking breakfast for my kids.

 Yummmm - beef liver!
 Can we just eat, please?
 This is gooooddddd!

 I'm looking forward to a fun and relaxing day.  I wish a wonderful safe and Merry Christmas to all the readers out there!!

For today, let's put any bad thoughts aside and revel in one of the most marvelous days of the year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The day before the night before Christmas

Are you busy, busy, busy being good?

Some of you, like me, will be starting the Christmas celebration with family beginning today.  I want you to remember something I preach about all the time during these celebrations:  What you CHOOSE to eat and HOW MUCH you choose to eat is NO ONE ELSE'S BUSINESS BUT YOURS.

I wish I could count on everyone out there reading having a peaceful and supportive holiday, but I know some of you aren't that lucky.  Aunt Snarky and Uncle Asshole seem to be alive and well in too many families.  Please try your hardest to ignore them

Focus your attention on any kids around.  Support their wonder of the season.  Hug those you don't see enough.  Enjoy every moment for it comes once a year.

Try not to stress over every bite.  Nothing you do these next 2 days is something that can't be undone.

Mitigate the damage if you can.  I just finished a 7 mile treadmill run.  I didn't burn enough calories to make up for what I intend to eat, but I got those endorphins going and I feel great.  Feel great is a good thing!

Remember you are a wonderful, beautiful addition to the world.  Own that with every fiber of your being!

Monday, December 23, 2013

The land of the living

Hope everyone out there is safe and sound and doing well!

We just returned to the land of the living.  Sunday morning at 3 AM - after a full days of ice - the shit hit the fan and our power went out.  

We spent all Sunday and all of last night huddled in our bedroom with a small propane burner with no heat, no lights and no water.  The rest of the house dropped to 50 degrees.  I sank into a depression.

I would like to share with you that I remained upbeat and positive and on track.  However, that would be a nasty lie.

Instead I was miserable, and spent the day eating myself into a food coma.  I also did absolutely no exercise.  And I DIDN'T. FUCKING. CARE.

The power company's website predicted we would get power restored by 11:30PM tomorrow night.  So this morning I was still feeling sorry for myself.  Having spent a night in hell, I was prepared for another full one.  We headed in to get supplies and my crappy eating continued x1,000.

After all this time, you would think that I wouldn't be tempted to be this off plan, but it just shows that Fat Jen remains alive and well within me!  

Our power is back, the house is almost up to temp and I just took what just may be the best shower of my life.  So I feel better.

I am still going to go by my plan - which is to eat however I want tomorrow and Xmas day.  My weight is going to be much higher and I will have work to do come January 1.  

I'm okay with that - until I step on the scale that is!

 Dinner by candlelight last night.

 Poor Chakotay and Archer couldn't even stand up on the ice to do their business.  They were cooped up all day yesterday. 
Today is better!  More slushy and we could walk around.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Flip the script!!

Grrrrr!  This is not how I visualized the weekend before Xmas going!!  That's for frigging sure!!

Let me tell you what was in the script.  Yesterday I would work all day and then come home with everything done and we would have a nice relaxing evening.  Today we would go in and casually buy the food that I need to make for Xmas Eve with my family and Xmas day with Marc's.  Maybe hit the mall - my shopping is done but with no pressure we'd people watch and look for bargains.  Sunday, I'd go for a run outside since the temps were going to be higher and then relax while hopefully watching my Dolphins kick Buffalo's ass.  

Instead, this is where we stand so far.  Yesterday morning we were advised that a GINORMOUS ice storm was headed our way.  Living through the massive ice storm we had here in 1998 has to be one of the worst few weeks of my life.  So I went to work.  And the storm started.  And I began pacing nervously thinking off all that I had to do this weekend and how it was looking like we were going to be housebound. 

Needless to say I got very little work done.  And, as a bonus, there were tons of holiday goodies lying around.  So I ate a couple of chocolate covered almonds.  Which led to chocolate covered peanuts and a piece of chocolate fudge.

I finally left work early and came home to get Marc.  It was raining and we hurriedly hit the grocery stores to get everything - running around like mad to beat the storm.  Hopefully I didn't forget anything.  Did that make me feel better?  You would think, but instead I got home where I continued to anxiety eat.  And eat, and eat and eat. 

We made it through the night without losing power - if we lose power, we lose our ONLY way to heat AND we lose water.  Today I woke up and an icy mix is coming down and sticking to everything.  Our road is GLARE ice.  At least one person has gone off the road and we've had 2 people stuck trying to turn around in our driveway.  The police scanner is continuously broadcasting accidents and falls.  They are calling for this storm to last until TOMORROW at 11PM with massive ice accumulation.  Losing power seem inevitable.

So I sit here.  Waiting for shit to really hit the fan.


Trying to stay on their feet.

 A view of our road - it is actually much better now then it was this morning!

Poor pine tree!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas through the years....

Christmas 2007

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2009

Christmas 2010

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2012

And since you've seen this year's I want to include one more pic.  I always hate seeing pictures of myself because I pick apart all the ways that I look terrible.  But Marc and I took this picture this week and I actually think we both look pretty good in it!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Goal talk!!

I know that there are a lot of people out there who have decided to forgo the thought of dieting and exercising and want to make a new start in the new year.  After all, we are only 2 weeks away if you can believe that!!

Even though I would not recommend letting it all hang out, so to speak, if that's a choice you are making, that is absolutely within your right!  But let's make sure that when January 1 gets here that you are prepared!

So this means that you don't want to wait until it's here to start thinking about your goals for the new year.

If you were reading my blog last year then you know exactly how I feel about "New Year's Resolutions".  I don't like that term, and most people who make these "resolutions" fail miserably and quickly!  So I prefer to set GOALS for my future.  

It's time to start thinking about your goals right now.  You certainly are under no obligation to start them yet, but research shows that planning these goals and having a start date for them makes it much more likely that you will stick with it.

So what goals do you have starting January 1?  Make sure these goals are attainable!  Also make them short term to start out with.  If you have 100 pounds to lose, don't start out January saying that you are going to lose 100 pounds in the next 6 months.  Instead let's focus on shorter term goals.  What can you do in the month of January to lose 7 pounds?  100 is daunting.  7?  Not so bad!

What other goals do you have?  Being a more involved parent?  Keeping up on housework?  Getting a new job?  Any of these can be broken down into steps.  If you are unhappy with your job, can your goal for January be to create a new resume?  Could it be to apply to 2 places per week?  

The time to think about re-inventing your life is now!  

Share with me some of your goals for 2014!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's a conspiracy!!

How is everyone hanging in there?  The crunch of the holidays should really be hitting now and - if you did as much shopping online as I did - both your TO DO list and your mailbox should be overflowing!!

I've shared with you guys before how I have a bit of seasonal affective disorder.  It has been mostly under control this year, but everything is really starting to get to me.  I'm trying to hold off the blackness but it seems like everything is conspiring to drag me down.

I've been doing the best that I can on the treadmill, but a mile on there feels like about 10 compared to running outside.  There are those runners that MOCK those of us that choose to do the running on the treadmill in horrific weather conditions - they even imply that we are not "real" runners.  I woke up this morning and the air temperature was -11 with a "feels like" -23 degrees.  It was snowing steadily and the sidewalks are covered with a slick layer of hard packed snow.

I'm sorry if this makes me a wimp, but I'm just not going to force myself to run outside in those conditions.  Period.  I think it's somewhat crazy to do so.  But this puts me on the treadmill tonight where I'll feel almost as sorry for myself.

The snow and cold is combined with no sunlight.  It feels like forever since I've seen the sun.  I go to work and it's not dark but it's SOLID GREY.  I leave work and it's SOLID GREY.  

Between me using the treadmill myself and the conditions, I haven't been giving the dogs the time, attention, or exercise that they need.  That in turn leads to guilt.

The anxiety and sleeplessness returned with a VENGEANCE Sunday night.  I have not had that bad of a night's sleep for as long as I can remember.  Fortunately, either because I was exhausted or because the grip is loosening, I slept really well last night,  

I'm trying to keep my spirits up - being nice to people like I talked about yesterday is one way.  The shortest day of the year is this weekend, so then the days will start lengthening.  Xmas is looming for me to enjoy.  And we're expecting a break from the freezing cold temps on Friday.  So I'm stubbornly trying to force myself to hang in there and not let anything get me down.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Tis the season...

I once had a friend tell me that I am a waitress' nightmare.  I expect a certain level of service and if I don't get it - well I let my dis-satisfaction be known.  Often loudly.  I don't work in the service industry, but I have in the past.  There's a reason I don't now!

In this journey, I've mentioned that I've taken it upon myself to become a better person in addition to just getting thinner.  In that respect I've made a concerted effort to be just plan NICER to people in general.  I don't always succeed but I am trying.  

In that spirit, twice in the past week I had exceptional service.  Once was at a local department store.  I had a complication with an order I ordered online had delivered to the store.  The woman who assisted me went above and beyond.  She was helpful and funny and solved my problem without drama.  So I called the store later and asked to speak to the manager.  You could tell that the manager was preemptively defensive and was bracing himself for a rant as I began explaining why I was calling.  When he realized that I was calling just to compliment, he instantly got excited and the defensiveness dropped.  He indicated how much he appreciated me calling and said that he would make sure that the employee was recognized for her efforts.

Today, I once again found myself having someone go above and beyond in a service situation.  This was a place where I would find it a NIGHTMARE to work.  But this guy acted like he was loving every single minute of his job.  It certainly made my experience a positive one.

So as soon as I got home, I got on the website and wrote a long and positive e-mail to the company.  Hopefully they will recognize this guy in some way - even just with a recognition letter!

This goal - to be a better, kinder and more understanding person - that will continue into the new year!

Today on my associated Facebook page, I challenged people to give a compliment to a stranger today.  Tis the season, you know.  There are a lot of people struggling this time of year.  What you say could literally change their world - even for a brief moment.  It will make you feel good, too.  So I am challenging you to go out of your way after you read this - GO SAY SOMETHING NICE TO SOMEONE!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

What's your purpose?

Recently on the 3 Fat Chicks discussion board, a woman who I have a ton of respect for and who is an exercise MACHINE noted that she was taking a Pilates class and a very slender, willowy looking woman took her place next to her.  This woman had the type of body that apparently most of us would kill for.

So this woman that I "know" from the site said that she was surprised to find during the class that even though she is "much" heavier then the willowy woman she was also quite a bit stronger and fitter from what she could tell.  And this in turn caused her to ask herself this question - if she could only choose one, would she choose to be very thin with an "ideal" body, or would she choose to be strong and fit even if that meant being heavier and look much different then the "ideal". 

And that made me question myself today.  Not so much in terms of fit versus beautiful.  To be honest that's a no-brainer for me.  I would much rather have a strong and fit body then to be wimpy and "skinny-fat".  It also helps that this would never be a choice for me.  The ideal model-esque body is never going to happen for me no matter what.  So I can put that thought right out of my head.  

But I do sometimes wonder what my goal is.  I'm fit and healthy.  I have very low body fat as unreal as that is for me to "say".  Which contributes to me being cold ALL THE TIME.  And today I stood in Walmart and looked LONGINGLY at these cookie mixes.  And I said "Fuck it!  It's Christmas, my weight is down, I ran 10 miles on the treadmill this morning - I'm going to make some cookies!!"  But I just. couldn't. 

Because what?  Because I would gain 10 pounds eating that?  No.  I know that.  So the main reason was because the thought of eating a no-no filled me with panic.  So I'm not avoiding in order to reach a goal - I'm avoiding for avoiding's sake.  Which doesn't make sense.  And takes some fun out of life, right?

Holy shit.  This makes you think, doesn't it??

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Figuring out what works for you...

Sometimes I wish that this journey was more of an exact science.  I mean it would make things easier if someone was able to "prescribe" to us exactly what to eat and exactly how much we should exercise to have optimal results.  

But that's not the way it works.  What works fantastically for me might be a disaster for you.  And my body might respond in certain ways that they don't in you.

Like CARBS.  Somehow this word has become dirty in much of the weight loss world.  And people will INSIST that you have to give up carbs because4 it just makes you crave more carbs and then you will be unable  to resist sitting down and eating POUNDS of chocolate and you will get/remain fat.

 Which is ridiculous.  I eat tons of carbs.  Mostly complex but sometimes not.  And it doesn't drive me into some sort of uncontrollable carb FIT.  AND I lost weight.

This week I've been off kilter.    But I've been eating the same as I normally do.  And exercising the same, too.  Yet my weight is lower then normal by about 2 pounds.  Why?  I wish I knew!

So I wondered if this could be related to the anxiety I have been having.  So today I intentionally ate more.  By a lot - like 500-600 calories.  I wonder what effect this will have on the scale tomorrow.  Probably it will be up and then I'll kick myself.

Surprisingly I've managed to stave off an emotional crash - with the cold and snow we've been getting - that usually sends me off the emotional deep end.

For now, I'm in cruise control and trying to just live a normal life.  

Friday, December 13, 2013

Gaining some serenity and sanity...

I think I am getting some of my sanity back. I slept well last night - not what I would call a SOUND sleep, but a good night's sleep.  The terrible and overwhelming anxiety I was feeling yesterday has taken a welcome vacation today.  

I did have a "talk" with myself last night.  It was a talk about routine and the demanding-ness I have for myself.  Like running.  I'm just resolved that I'm NOT going to make myself miserable by running outside in 10 degree temps with snow on the ground.  Which means I have to either use the treadmill OR do an alternative form of exercise.  So last night I did the treadmill.  I only ran 6 miles.  And I didn't miraculously gain 10 pounds.  Today I ran up and down stairs on my lunch break rather then my scheduled outdoor run.  I'm guessing that won't eliminate my ability to run 10 miles the next time I want to.  

I am hoping that my talk with myself about coming to terms with a need to be flexible is what is giving me some internal peace today.  

So there are 2 weekends left before Xmas.  Next weekend is going to be insane.  So I suggest that you follow my lead and get done this weekend what you can.  Buy anything non-perishable that you can!  Cross those items off your list.  

Take inventory - do you need wrapping paper, tape, bows, etc?  If so, get them this weekend when the stores are still well stocked.  In need of stocking stuffers like candy for the kids?  Ornaments?  Perfect time to get those things is this weekend.  By next weekend the stores will be PACKED and choices will be low.  So get them while the getting is good!

I'm making the rounds this weekend and will get done all that I possibly can.  Xmas will be here and gone before you know it and I'm determined to sit back and enjoy.  I have Xmas music cranked and I'm looking forward to the weekend.  Since I've got most of my stuff done, I don't think I'll want to knock anyone down while shopping this weekend!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I need to get a grip!

What the heck is going on with me?  I am not in one of funks.  That's not what is going on with me right now.  It's something else that I can't control.  I'm not even in a bad mood.  It's this paralyzing anxiety that I've been dealing with.

It sucks.

I'm not sleeping well - which is totally abnormal for me.  And I'm sitting here right now with this tightness in my chest and a feeling of PANIC for no reason at all!!

Today is a run day and when noon came it was snowing like crazy, it was 16 degrees and there was a strong run.  So I decided it was a no brainer that I wouldn't run.  But then a co-worker came in and we got discussing some of the cases from court this morning and by the time we were done I didn't feel like doing a workout DVD.

So I did a very bad thing.  I went out and browsed a few stores.  And as I shopped and saw others there shopping I realized - there are people out there that DON'T exercise during their lunch hour.  There are people who shop or do other things during that time.  And that thought - though stupidly obvious - caused me to pause.  

I came back to work and felt GUILTY having lunch because I hadn't worked for it.  It's not healthy.  Every time I think I'm making strides in this area I have a huge setback.  Although I think I can now trace it mostly to when it's something UNPLANNED.  If I know I'm going to eat off plan or do something else "naughty" I can deal.

But rolling with it?  I'm not good at that.  I'm about to hit the treadmill and I will run and maybe that will 1) assuage my guilt and 2) work off some of this anxiety. I truly hope so.       

If anyone has any words of wisdom to get my head screwed on right, please feel free to share them with me.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Appreciating the season...

2 weeks!  It is only 2 weeks until Christmas.  Wow - everything feels so rushed this year!

Are you taking time to appreciate the season?  I really hope so!  I am struggling with this myself.

When I was on my journey downwards, I do feel that I missed out some on appreciating the season.  Why?  Because I was SO focused on WHAT I could/would eat!  How many "challenges" I would face.  Being angry at myself if I went off plan.  In fact, I almost feel that at times I missed out on enjoying the time with my family because I was so intent at looking at the food table wondering how many calories were in everything.

Last year was a little different.  It was my first Christmas in maintenance and I tried to loosen up a little.  BUT, I was worried about gaining, which of course would make me a complete and total failure in my own eyes.

This year, I decided to try something even more different.  I told myself on Monday that I was just going to relax.  I was going to eat without thinking of calories until Christmas.  I was not going to stress and if I didn't feel like working out, I was going to skip a workout.  You know how long that resolve lasted?  About 10 minutes  LOL.

Nope, I am not at the point yet where I can just chill out and - for 2 weeks - live life on the wild side.  I don't know, maybe I'll be able and willing to do it for a week.  Or maybe I'll treat this like any other month and stick rigorously to plan until Christmas Eve.

Either decision is okay.  But I want to try to enjoy family and friends completely and without reservation and I can't do that if my mind is constantly counting calories or deriding myself for minor deviations.  So I'm going to try really really hard to give myself a break and enjoy this beautiful time of year that only happens all too briefly every December.

I hope you are appreciating the season.  I hope you aren't preoccupied with thoughts of calories or whether you got the right gift for your nephew or that spot on the carpet that "everyone is going to see"!

That's not what this is about - it's about love and harmony.  

And if, at the end of it all you or I gain a couple of pounds, we'll work together to get rid of them.  I don't know how many Christmas' I have left with certain loved ones - so let's hug someone we care about today and just be glad we are together.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

To what lengths?

A common phrase we use in addiction treatment is "To what lengths are you willing to go to get better?"  Because addiction recovery is not just about putting down the drink or the drug.  That's the easy part.

 Do you see how that applies to the battle to lose weight?  To what lengths are you willing to go?  What will you give up? What sacrifices will you make?

 Today was cold.  I forgot a shirt to wear for my lunch run.  I have a HUGE list of errands to run.  I wanted with all my heart to say "fuck it" and forget working out during my lunch hour.  I also wanted to eat about 10 of the donut holes that were in the break room.

But I didn't.  I ignored the donut holes and found a shirt and went out and ran in the cold.

There's nothing special or nothing remarkable about this.  It's just the lengths that I'm willing to go to maintain this lifestyle that I established. 

It's totally okay to have weak moments.  It's also okay to sometimes throw your hands up in the air and not make the right decision.  But overall, you need to be willing to sacrifice and work for it.  It's SO hard sometimes. 

I am worried that the anxiety and stress that I'm feeling could partially be from over-training.  Marc is feeling it, too.  So I looked at him tonight and realized that this is December 10th.  We have both worked out ALMOST every single day in 2013.  I mean EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  And most times twice per day.  I literally cannot remember the last time we went a day without working out. 

It's the length that we're willing to go.  Some day one or both of us might not be willing and/or able.  But today?  Yes.

Monday, December 9, 2013


You know how there are those people in the world that wait until the very last minute to get things done?  Now some of those people are just procrastinators and don't accomplish much.  But there are other people like that that not only can manage by waiting until the last minute but they actually FLOURISH in their task by waiting.

I am NOT one of those people.  I remember in college taking a course in Adolescent Psychology.  We had to read and write detailed reports on 2 books - Tom Sawyer and The Diary of Anne Frank.  We were told this on the syllabus our first day in January.  We had until the beginning of April to write these papers.  One of mine was done by the February break, and the other was done and ready to be handed in by the middle of March.  A guy on my floor in the same class was running around 2 days before they were due having not written a SINGLE THING.  It just about sent ME into a panic.  And the bastard got them done if you can believe that (although I don't know his grades!)

So, yeah, I have a bit of OCD.  And I don't know what's been wrong with me the last couple of days, but I have been extraordinarily anxious.  I've been worried about getting things done for Christmas.  This morning I was sitting here at work and felt - almost on the verge of a panic attack - thinking about stuff I have to do.

It's crazy.  I know that I will get the things done.  I'm way ahead of the game compared to other people I know, but I still feel a lot of anxiety.  Saturday night I tossed and turn for over an hour worrying about something.  I finally got up and took care of it because I couldn't fall asleep with it weighing on my mind!

I honestly don't know if this is a symptom of something more going on or what, but I HATE feeling anxious.  There's only so much I can do, and sitting around worrying isn't helping anything.

It doesn't help that this weekend seemed to FLY by in the blink of an eye!  So tonight I do my comfort thing of making lists - and searching for peace of mind!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Paranoia no more....

I started my "lazy Sunday" with a just over 15 mile run.  I cannot describe how much I hate the cold!  The one good thing was that there was no wind - which NEVER happens around here.  Actually the cold didn't bother me too much at all until about mile 8.  That's about an hour in, and that's when my hands start to FREEZE.  All other body parts were fine, but this seems to be consistent with my hands getting cold about an hour into a run when it's cold.

I wear these THICK Thinsulate gloves, but by the time I got home, I literally could not move my fingers.  That's not good.  So if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!!

Afterwards, Marc and I took my mother to lunch for a belated birthday celebration.  We went to Ruby Tuesdays and I got the all you can eat salad bar and unleashed Fat Jen.  Trust me - she can do some damage, even on a SALAD bar LOL.

Even after I had lost a lot of weight, I used to be paranoid about people watching my plate or watching me eat when I was out in public.  I'm not sure if it was paranoia or reality in the past when I was fat, but I used to think that people were staring at my plate and evaluating what and how much I was eating.

Now I'm not.  I ran 15 fucking miles and I'll eat however much I want today.  And you know what the reality is?  I desperately wanted to try one of their Pretzel Burgers.  But I checked last night and one of those burgers has in the neighborhood of 1700 calories!!!!  Add in a soda and fries and extras like ketchup like most people were eating?  I probably didn't come near that despite all I ate in multiple trips!  And remember I've talked about spending your money - aka calories - wisely?  Lots and lots of calories in broccoli, sunflower seeds, and edamame beans is better for you then greasy fries and a burger!

But anyway, back to the paranoia.  Marc and I went to the mall yesterday and as we were walking in, there were two teenage girls behind us that were talking in hushed tones and giggling like crazy.  In the past, I would have felt ashamed and angry because I would have been SURE that they were laughing at the fat cow in front of them.  

I noticed yesterday that I didn't give a second thought to what they might have been giggling about - I wasn't worried that it was about me.  And if it was something about me?  I don't really care.   Not a pretend I don't care but a REAL not caring!

A lot of people thought that I was confident in myself even when I was fat.  I guess I was pretty good at portraying that.  Boy, if they only knew how horribly insecure I was.  This weight loss has had that wonderful side effect.  I don't think it is just because I am thinner now.  It's what I have accomplished with the weight loss - like running 15 miles this morning.  I still struggle with confidence in myself, but I'm getting there.

It's great guys - I hope if you haven't felt that confidence in yourself - I hope you feel that soon!!  And that is my hope for you NO MATTER WHAT THE NUMBER IS ON THE SCALE!!  


Saturday, December 7, 2013

The truth is out there....

And I hope it doesn't catch up with me!!

Yeah, this is another post coming from crazy town.  My weight is remaining very stable between 117-119.  I continue to work out diligently.  I eat well most of the time.

Then why do I sometimes feel like a phony?

I was listening to the Podcast yesterday hoping that I didn't sound too much like a dufus.  And as I was listening to it, I was almost like - "Who the hell do you think you are?" to the ME on the podcast.  It was like I didn't have any right to tell my story.

I was thinking "If they only knew..."  And then it occurred to me - if they only knew WHAT?  I really did lose this weight through diet and exercise.  I really do work every day to make healthy choices.

I'm not sure why I sometimes feel like "the truth" is going to come out and everyone will discover that I've only been pretending - that this me is not the real me.  Maybe it's because I still feel like this life is a dream and it scares the SHIT out of me to think that I could wake up one day and be morbidly obese again and the last 3 years have just been a wonderful fantasy.
A person on the 3 Fat Chicks site mentioned that the guy who interviewed me never talked about the emotional aspect to losing weight.  It probably never occurred to him as someone who has never (I presume) been obese.  But you and I both know - the emotional part?  That's sometimes the hardest, most challenging aspect of this journey.
So, I say to myself - embrace this life - you've earned it.  Fat Jen lives inside you but she doesn't control you any  more.  And, you know, she's not so bad, either.... 

Friday, December 6, 2013

It's all about me.

I think I mentioned a month or so ago that I was interviewed by someone for a podcast.  That Podcast is available if you are interested in listening http://podnova.com/add.html#url=http%3A%2F%2Ftrimendeavors.libsyn.com%2Frss .  It is also available on ITunes.

It's long, but I think it turned out pretty good.  

How is everyone coping after the Thanksgiving Holiday?  It's funny how different people react.  For some people a day of overeating throws them totally for loop and they have a hard time getting back on track.  For me, personally, I find that a day like that satisfies my cravings and I don't have the urge to overeat or to eat fattening things for at least a couple of weeks afterwards.  

I am counting myself lucky that the horrible cold and snowy weather that is plaguing most of the west has not made it here - at least not yet - so I've been able to run outside this week.  That definitely helps my spirits because it has been getting dark so early and I'm starting to feel the mental effect of that.  I am struggling to keep emotional darkness from descending on me.  

Are you working on organizing and establishing your goals for the holiday season and thereafter?  I hope so!  I find that this year my "TO DO" and other lists are keeping me a little more sane then typically.  It just breaks down the tasks for me, but I still am getting a little overwhelmed.

My one client has continued to use and we put him in jail yesterday.  I won't have to worry about him overdosing this weekend, but on the other hand, spending time in jail SUCKS and this time of year makes it worse.

Hoping to get a lot done this weekend.  I hope everyone else out there is accomplishing tasks and feeling great!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Merry Christmas Card!

Since I can't send one to everyone who reads individually, please consider this my Christmas card to you!

Love Marc, Jen, Chakotay Archer, Ezri (RIP), Janeway, Geordi, Crusher, Neelix, Miles, Spock, Hoshi, Ishka and Kes!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Practice makes perfect!

Can you guys believe that Christmas is 3 weeks from today??!!  With Thanksgiving falling so late this year, I'm completely caught off guard by how soon Christmas will be here.

So where does that leave us?  I am hearing a lot of panic and frustration from people.  So, if you fall into one of those categories - STOP.  Ok, take a deep breath.  Do you feel like you are failing?  Do you feel a little mentally out of control?

Now I want you to sit down for 10 minutes today.  With pen and paper or a tablet or whatever works for you and make a list of goals.  What do you need and/or want to get done?  These goals can be either short term or longer term goals.

Perhaps you are not ready at this very second to make any radical life altering changes.  If this seems to describe you, let's look at those goals and how you can begin to practice new habits even if you're not ready to fully commit to the process right at this second. It's totally okay to do this in steps!

Let's say one of your goals is to exercise for 30 minutes 5 days per week.  But right now you can't commit to that because of the crazy-ness of the season.  Make a commitment to work out for 30 minutes ONE day this week.  You can spare 30 minutes, right?  NO EXCUSES.

Another thing that is running through your head is how you HAVE to get the house cleaned for Christmas guests that are arriving December 20th.  Don't wait until December 18th and then go insane trying to clean the whole house!!  How about you vacuum and dust the guest room tonight?  It might not last completely until they arrive, but it will be so much better and you can just give it a "once over" before they arrive.

Are you cooking?  So why not sit down and start making your list today?  You can add things as you think of them and then be super organized when you go to the grocery store rather than running around like a chicken with your head cut off 2 days before Christmas.  AND you could pick up a few things the next time you go to the store for your regular trip that will keep - if you're making green bean casserole, buy the beans and soup NOW.  Cross them off your list - they will be there Christmas Day!

Gotta wrap gifts?  Don't set out for a marathon wrapping day - wrap 1 or 2 gifts a couple times this week.  There, that's done!!!

Have you fallen into the trap already of over-indulging in tempting treats?  But your goals is to lose 30 pounds.  Don't beat yourself up!  Make a commitment to eat right tomorrow.  For one day.  And then if you want to eat a treat this weekend, tell, yourself you can do it.  You are PRACTICING good habits that you can commit to completely when you are ready.

Need to pay off some credit card bills?  Forget thinking you're going to have a windfall at tax time and will pay everything off.  Pay $10 more on 2 cards this month.  That's not much but it's a small dent.

What you DON'T want to do is to say - "I'm totally changing my life come January 1st!"  NO!!  Start those good habits now.  Maybe not 100%, but ANY change you  make now gives you the knowledge of what works and what doesn't for when you are ready to make that change.  

Remember, one of the first changes I made was to cut down on soda.  I went from drinking 1-2 Mountain Dews per day to 1-2 per WEEK.  It took me about 3 months but I have been "clean" from ALL SODA since May of 2010.  I had success by practicing better habits but still allowing myself to have some bad habits until I was ready.   

All these small skills that you are learning can help you achieve long term goals - whatever those goals may be.  Can you see how list making and breaking things down into PARTS will serve you well not just for the holidays but after the holidays as well?  On my tablet, I currently have a "To Do" list, a "To Buy" list, a "Future goals" list and a "What's happening Saturday" list.  

You don't train for a marathon by waiting and waiting and then going out and running 26 miles, right?  You start by running short distances many times!

Let me know if and how you are implementing some small changes and how it is working for you!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The body is crazy!

The body is a totally unpredictable and weird thing.  Last March I talked about set point theory and how some people believe that the body has a certain weight that it likes to be at and will fight to be there.  Some argue that this is why it is so hard to lose and maintain weight if you have been obese.  Those people say that we are born with this set point and it can't be changed.  

I think that there are definitely people who have it easy when it comes to weight and some that have it hard.  But I'm starting to believe that you can RESET your set point if one exists.  Let me tell you why.

The week or so before Thanksgiving I intentionally cut back on my eating and was especially diligent in my exercise to make sure I had wiggle - or should I say JIGGLE - room as I knew I would be eating a LOT on Thanksgiving day.  And for the week of Thanksgiving I hovered from about 117.5-119.1.  Thanksgiving morning I weighed in at 117.4.  I was satisfied with that.  

I ran the 5K Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning and ate a ton of food.  Then my sister-in-law sent us home with leftovers.  I ate more than normal on Friday including a huge honking piece of banana cream pie.  My weight was way up Friday and Saturday.  

Yesterday I stepped on the scale and it read 118.0.  Huh?  So you mean to tell me I restricted and restricted and then, after a pig out, I'm only up just over 1/2 pound a couple of days later??  Hmmm.... 

So I think my body and I have come to an agreement.  Don't get me wrong - I still have to eat right and exercise MORE days than not.  But it used to be that a super-indulgence would put my weight up for a couple of weeks.  Now, I'm right back down.

This makes me super-happy and super hopeful.  And I hope that it gives you hope, too, that once you lose the weight, you can - reset? - your body to the newer, thinner, you!!  I don't want my former obesity to be a disability that holds me back for the rest of my life.          

In other news turns out that I placed 2nd in my age group for the Turkey Trot.  I have been OBSESSING about my crappy time and how I should have done better.  Here's a picture of my medal:

Next year I GET FIRST!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

You know I'm a dreamer...

Said Motley Crue from their song "Home Sweet Home".  

I have repeatedly encouraged you to follow your dreams in many of my posts.  And I do believe that.  But there is a difference between following your dreams and being "a dreamer".  I like to think of myself as one of those dreamers - you know the romanticized version of the dreamer who has great ideas and lives with her head in the sky.

But in reality, I'm not much of a dreamer.  I'm way too practical for that.  Which may be why I find myself.having succeeded in my weight loss journey.

You see, there are problems with being a dreamer.  The first is that dreamers rarely get things done.  They are so caught up in thinking of what could be that they don't put in the effort to get there.  They fantasize about the future but don't have the get up and go to make things happen.

I don't know all that much about Steve Jobs, but I have read enough about him to know that he was a dreamer.  And he probably would have gone through his life without having created Apple or having revolutionized the industry if he had never met Steve Wozniak or someone like him.  Because "The Woz" was the practical guy who put everything into motion.  Jobs had the ideas, but they were dreams and, like most dreamers, he lacked the tolerance for putting ideas into reality.  

Especially since you can dream about something happening tomorrow, but dreams often take months and years to become reality.  If you don't have the patience for this, you will fail.

Here's the other thing about dreams - I see people all the time talking about what their life is going to be like once they lose weight.  They talk about wearing a bikini and getting dates with hot guys and flaunting their new hot bodies to their ex-best friend.

Well guess what?  The fantasy in your head rarely lives up to reality.  Don't get me wrong, being thin having lived most of my life as morbidly obese - well there is no words to describe how marvelous that is!!  However, my fantasy of being thin did not involve stretch marks and hanging skin.  Losing weight didn't suddenly solve life's problems.  It didn't make stress go away.  It hasn't made every day a skip and a hop through a meadow of flowers!!

I still have work stress, Marc and I still fight, I still go to stores and try on clothes that look terrible on me.  I didn't become magically beautiful when I lost the weight.  It didn't fix every relationship issue with friends and family in my life.  

So when you're on this journey, remember to follow your dreams.  But don't get so caught up in thinking of what COULD, SHOULD, MIGHT be!  Instead focus on doing the work and the rest will come!!

Finally, I can't let today pass without at least mentioning my Dad.  He has been gone 23 - holy crap can it really be 23 years? - as of today.  I wish you were still here, Dad...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Birthday to my Mommy ;))

Another year has passed and we have arrived again at my mother's birthday.  I committed to giving thanks every day in November, but I'm going to extend it one more day and express how grateful I am for her.

 My mom and I in 1974.

Believe it or not, my mother is not perfect. She made mistakes when raising my brother and I.  She has broken my heart more then once, as I'm sure I have broken hers.  No, none of us are beyond reproach in the choices we make in our lives.

But overall she did so much more for me then your average parent.  I took it for granted.  Not in the way some really spoiled rotten kids take people for granted, but it was because I didn't know the difference.  I thought that ALL moms functioned that way!

Like her sitting through almost EVERY tap dancing class I took - every week - for 10 freaking years! And going to all my recitals and plays and band concerts.  You know how many times I took the bus with the other kids to the parades I marched and played clarinet in?  Or to a vocal competition? Or to a swim meet I was competing in?

The answer is not zero, but it's pretty friggin close!!!  I didn't need to be on the bus because she would drive me and stay for the whole thing.

Just this morning Marc was showing me how to operate the propane heater we just installed in our workout room.  And I realized all that Marc does in the household and I thought that I wouldn't be able to keep this house if - perish the thought - something happened to him.  I couldn't do all that he does!  Well guess what?  I am the exact age now that my mother was when my Dad died.  And she not only maintained the house, she did it through her grief and working full time and raising 2 kids!!

How much strength did that take?  I can't imagine...

 She could have given up.  She didn't.

I'm not the terribly sentimental type and I have trouble expressing my emotions, so I guess I don't tell her thanks enough.  But I hope she knows - or she will after reading this - that I get how lucky I was to have had a mother like her growing up.  And while I'll never have my own kids and be able to emulate her as a mother, I can aspire to be the loyal, caring, and strong person that she is.

And the next time we get in a fight, I'll try to remember this!!!